After I read through the chapter, I asked Charlie to drop everything he was doing so I could read it to him. As I was reading, I could see him nodding his head and saying, "Yep, Yep, YEP." While I thought that this book spoke volumes to me, my husband thought it spoke volumes to him. Later in the afternoon, I read it to my mother over the phone and now, I'm going to express "Listening to Your Right Brain" for the fourth time today because it is that good and has consumed my thoughts all day.
Now, granted, my desire to hone in the communications emitted from my right brain might have something to do with the fact that I'm 40 and in mid-life crisis territory AND I'm heading back to work tomorrow after almost three blissful weeks off and there is a lot of angst about hopping back on the turbo-charged gerbil wheel. Nonetheless....
There's an intuitive, invisible presence that's always with you. I picture this presence as a nagging little creature who sits on your right shoulder and reminds you when you've lost your sense of purpose. This little fellow is your own death, urging you to get on with what you showed up here for because you have only so many days to get it done, and then your body will be departing from this visit. Your invisible companion will prod you when you're spending another day doing what someone else has dictated if it's not part of your passion in life.
You'll most likely always know when you're off purpose because of your thoughts of frustration. You might not always act on this knowledge, though, because your left brain has not mustered up the courage to do the bidding that your right brain knows is your destiny. Your intuitive inner voice keeps urging you to play the music that you hear so that you won't die with it inside you. But your left brains says, "Wait a minute. Be careful, don't take risks, you might fail, you might disappoint all of those who have a different view of what you should be doing." Then your right brain invisible companion (your death) speaks even louder. The volume gets turned up and up, trying to get you to follow your dream.Listening exclusively to your left brain will turn you ultimately into a pretender, or even worse, a commuter - getting up every morning going with the crowd, doing that job that brings in the money and pays the bills; and getting up the next morning and doing it all over again. Meanwhile, the music inside of you fades almost to a point of being inaudible. But your constant invisible companion always hears the music and continues tapping you on the shoulder.The attempts to get your attention may take the form of an ulcer, or a fire to burn up your resistance, or being fired from a stifling job, or being brought to your knees with an accident. Usually these accidents, illnesses, and forms of bad luck finally get your attention. But not always. Some people end up like Tolstoy's character, Ivan Ilyich, who anguished on his deathbed, "What if my whole life has been wrong?" A fearsome scene, I must say.You don't have to choose that fate. Listen to your invisible companion, express the music that you hear, and ignore what everyone else around you thinks you should be doing. As Thoreau put it, "If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music he hears, however measured or far away."Be willing to accept that others may even see you as having betrayed them, but you haven't betrayed your music - your purpose. Listen to your music, and do what you know you have to do to feel whole, to feel complete, and to feel as if you're fulfilling your destiny. You'll never be at peace if you don't get that music out and let it play. Let the world know why you're here, and do it with passion.
The fly on the wall of our house can attest to the fact that not a day goes by that I don't say something - along the exact same lines - to Charlie. For that matter, I'm 99.9% sure that I've used terminology precisely surrounding my own fate tapping me on the shoulder.
TAP! TAP! TAP!
Hello pneumonia and hospitalization!
Hello debilitating auto-immune disease!
Hello stress and malaise!
Is it time for a change yet?
Or should we go take a peek at caskets?
I've felt for a long time that I've been totally off track and can feel the frustration and anxiety mounting, every day. So our quest for this year is to figure out what exactly our passions are and pursue them with total conviction.
I'll admit, I'm afraid. But I'm also excited because I want to/must begin to feel better than how I've been feeling. Even with my cautious optimism, I have two concerns:
1) Do I have the courage to completely give up my career and (financial) stability to pursue my passion?
2) Do I know what my passion is? What if I think I know what it is, only to later discover, I WAS TOTALLY WRONG?
I can just see us living deep in the mountains. I'm homeschooling the children, spinning wool and making candles. And at some point, on or about day three, I look at Charlie and say oops!
Honey? This wasn't quite what I had in mind.